Former ‘Fleet Street of Scotland’ becomes home to new hotel

SHOULD passers-by pause to marvel at one of Edinburgh’s newest hotels, they may be also interested to know that it is located in a building once home to one of the world’s first-ever newspapers.

Fraser Suites have taken over a restored Grade B-Listed building in the capital’s St Giles Street, which – in the 19th century – was home to the now defunct Edinburgh Courant newspaper.

According to sources, the paper – which boasted Robinson Crusoe author, Daniel Defoe. among its editors – was first published in February 1705, as a weekly, and sold for a penny. It was then produced twice-weekly for five years, then continued as the Scots Courant until April 1720.

Later that same year, the Edinburgh Evening Courant began publication, and it survived until the Evening News came into existence in 1873.

Indeed, from the late 19th century until the middle of the 20th century, St Giles Street was the ‘Fleet Street of Scotland’, hosting (over the years) the offices of not only the Edinburgh Courant and Edinburgh Daily Review, but also the Glasgow News, Glasgow Herald, Glasgow Evening Citizen, the Edinburgh Daily Mail and the Mercat Press.